Super sculpted fitness fanatic Caragh Flannery flaunts her washboard abs as she reveals the secrets behind her incredible body.
With a rippling six-pack and bulging biceps, Caragh Flannery is a great advocate of healthy living. The 27-year-old keeps her impressive physique in check through a combination of cardio and weight training.
Now a successful fitness model, Caragh is a pro at flaunting her muscles for the camera. But the leggy 5ft 8inch model hasn’t always been so body-confident.
In fact, just two years ago she piled on the pounds after turning to food for comfort.
“I was living in Guildford in England. Honestly, I was miserable there, constantly homesick and for the first three months food was my only comfort,” she said.
“It didn’t take long for me to realise my clothes no longer fitted, I didn’t feel confident or comfortable with myself.”
“I knew I had to do something so I got myself a personal trainer who introduced me to weight training,” she added.
She began working out, but relapsed into her “lazy ways” after moving back home to Cork, Ireland. However, in February 2014 she decided enough was enough and turned her life around.
In just 12 weeks, Caragh went through a remarkable transformation after signing up with personal trainer Brenda O Keeffe at Mifitness Womenonly and Midiet Nutrition Ballincollig.
“It was a gruelling process, I trained harder than ever, battled with sweet cravings and forced myself to the gym, but I enjoyed every minute of it,” she said.
“I thought I was in good enough shape and quite fit but the 12 weeks changed my body to a completely different level.”
Despite her incredible figure, Caragh, who is signed by modelling agency rippedmodels.co.uk, admits that she still has insecurities about the way she looks.
“Growing up I always had insecurities, I still do,” she said. “I think as a female it is difficult as role models consist of beautiful models and celebrities. In school weight and diet was always a topic of conversation.”
But the inspiring fitness fanatic says that building her muscles is helping to build her confidence levels too.
She said: “There are days now where I love how I look and I am really happy, I feel lean and muscular.
“But then there are days where I can be incredible negative where I pick at aspects of my body.”
“I am learning to deal with the bad days. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be happy with my body as I know I will always want more and strive to look better.
“At the moment I love my arms and I am lucky that when I tighten up my diet my abs can appear quite quickly but then I struggle to lose fat around my hips and legs.”
Caragh says her fitness goals help her concentrate on her health rather than her appearance.
She said: “I think healthy should be the new skinny. You don’t have to have a six-pack to be incredibly fit, healthy and strong.
“Focus should also be on performance, your strength and what your body is able to do. Building strength and watching my body change continuously are huge accomplishments for me.
“I love that now I think about how much I can squat and how many chin ups I can do rather than what size dress I am wearing.”
But her rock-hard abs and super-toned pins, haven’t come easy and Caragh admits that she does struggle with motivation.
“It’s a constant mental battle that I struggle with every day,” she said. “After a hard day at work the last thing I want is a gruelling gym session but I always find a way to go.”
“The worst part is getting to the gym. I always feel fantastic after a work-out and I also find I sleep much better after I work-out,” she added.
“On occasion I can fall off-track and have several bad days in a row but I have learned over the years, there is no point beating yourself up over it. It’s life.”
1. Have you got any workout tips/secrets you can share with our readers?
“Go for it – don’t over think it, get in the gym and honestly the rest will happen, you will learn to love the training, the sweating and the sore muscles.
“The feeling of achievement and the changes to you both physically and mentally are totally worth it.”
2. How do you get/maintain a six-pack like yours?
“You can do as many sit-ups, crunches and oblique twists as you like but if your diet is not on track your abs will not exist.
“I stuck to a strict diet plan for 12 weeks and my abs appeared, I trained away as normal actually doing minimal ab work.
“Maintaining abs is another thing all together, it’s actually really hard.
“At the moment I try to avoid tempting foods, limit stress in my life (as this elevated cortisol which stimulate fat storage around the abdominal area), I break up my work outs and do some high intensity exercises and most importantly I build in a treat meal once a week to help fight off those cravings.”
Caragh’s Diet and Workout Regime
Morning: 30g porridge with a teaspoon of weight watcher raspberry jam
Mid-Morning snack: 2 turkey rashers, laughing cow cheese triangle, wholemeal slimbo and 20g almonds
Lunch: Spinach, broccoli, chicken breast, brown rice and light soya sauce
Mid-afternoon snack: 2 rice cakes with tsp peanut butter and chocolate protein shake
Dinner: Whole green beans, chicken breast, sweet potato (love sweet potato fries)
Evening snack: 10 Raspberries, 100g Fage 0% and Chocolate protein (all mixed together).